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Notice

Sunset Railway Company-Abandonment Exemption-in Kern County, CA; San Joaquin Valley Railroad Company-Discontinuance Exemption-in Kern County, CA

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Start Preamble

Sunset Railway Company (SRY) and San Joaquin Valley Railroad Company (SJVR) (collectively, petitioners) have jointly filed a notice of exemption under 49 CFR part 1152, subpart F—Exempt Abandonments and Discontinuances of Service for SRY to abandon, and SJVR to discontinue service over, a 0.20-mile line of railroad, known as the Sunset Subdivision near Levee, between milepost 19.80 and milepost 20.00, in Kern County, CA. The line traverses United States Postal Service Zip Code 93268.

SRY and SJVR have certified that: (1) No local traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years; (2) no overhead traffic has moved over the line for at least 2 years and any overhead traffic on the line can be rerouted over other lines; (3) no formal complaint filed by a user of rail service on the line (or by a state or local government entity acting on behalf of such user) regarding cessation of service over the line either is pending with Surface Transportation Board (Board) or with any U.S. District Court or has been decided in favor of complainant within the 2-year period; and (4) the requirements at 49 CFR 1105.7 (environmental reports), 49 CFR 1105.8 (historic reports), 49 CFR 1105.11 (transmittal letter), 49 CFR 1105.12 (newspaper publication), and 49 CFR 1152.50(d)(1) (notice to the governmental agencies) have been meet.

As a condition to these exemptions, any employee adversely affected by the abandonment or discontinuance shall be protected under Oregon Short Line R. Co.-Abandonment-Goshen, 360 I.C.C. 91 (1979). To address whether this condition adequately protects affected employees, a petition for partial revocation under 49 U.S.C. 10502(d) must be filed. Provided no formal expression of intent to file an offer of financial assistance (OFA) has been received, these exemptions will be effective on April 20, 2005, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,[1] formal Start Printed Page 13571expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),[2] and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by March 31, 2005. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by April 11, 2005, with: Surface Transportation Board, 1925 K Street, NW., Washington, DC 20423-0001.

A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to applicants' representatives: Attorney for SRY, Mack H. Shumate, Jr., 101 North Wacker Drive, Room 1920, Chicago, IL 60606; Attorneys for SJVR, Gary A. Laakso, Vice President Regulatory Counsel, Rail America, Inc., 5300 Broken Sound Blvd., NW., Second Floor, Boca Raton, FL 33487 and Louis E. Gitomer, Ball Janik LLP, 1455 F Street, NW., Suite 225, Washington, DC 20005.

If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemption is void ab initio.

SRV and SJVR have filed an environmental report which addresses the effects, if any of the abandonment and discontinuance on the environment and historic resources. SEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by March 25, 2005. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to SEA (Room 500, Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423-0001) or by calling SEA, at (202) 565-1539. (Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.) Comments on environmental and historic preservation matters must be filed within 15 days after the EA becomes available to the public.

Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or trail use/rail banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent decision.

Pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), SRY shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the line. If consummation has not been effected by SRY's filing of a notice of consummation by March 21, 2006, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire.

Board decisions and notices are available on our Web site at http://www.stb.dot.gov.

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Decided: March 14, 2005.

By the Board, David M. Konschnik, Director, Office of Proceedings.

Vernon A. Williams,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board's Section of Environmental Analysis (SEA) in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemption's effective date. See Exemption of Out-of-Service Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may take appropriate action before the exemption's effective date.

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2.  Each offer of financial assistance must be accompanied by the filing fee, which currently is set at $1,200. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25).

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[FR Doc. 05-5484 Filed 3-18-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4915-01-P